The residents of the Town of Bennington voted to create a Town Budget Advisory Committee to add a public element to the review of the Town’s operating budget. Each year the Town Moderator appoints five persons, each a resident of Bennington, to comprise the Town Budget Advisory Committee. Appointment by the Town Moderator ensures that the Budget Committee is an independent entity not subordinated or otherwise subject to the Board of Selectmen or other Town managing element.
The role of the Budget Advisory Committee is to advise the Board of Selectmen and the Town Administrator on budgetary matters as they prepare an operating budget to present to the residents of Bennington for a Town vote. The Budget Advisory Committee conducts regular meetings in the fall/early winter months, at which the public is encouraged to attend and contribute in thoroughly reviewing and analyzing the Town’s proposed operating budget, as well as evaluating Town operations and budgetary practices. Throughout the process, the Board of Selectmen and the Budget Advisory Committee work cooperatively with each other to ensure that all the respective budgets will be serve the community’s needs.
In the proposed operating budget, we diligently look for efforts to correct and/or prevent wasteful expenditures, provide adequate support for public services, and align our budget with a reasonable tax rate. In addition to any advice that may be provided, the Budget Advisory Committee develops positions of support, or opposition, on components of the proposed budget and warrant articles.
In these challenging economic times, we strongly encourage you to get involved and participate in our meetings, or submit comments for our consideration.
What Makes Up “The Budget”?
The Budget is a mixture of three components, all of which are individually acted upon by voters at the polls in March:
Capital Reserve Accounts – Capital Reserve Accounts act as “savings account” by consistently setting aside money each year for the eventual purchase of a piece of capital equipment or to fund a future project. Examples of Capital Reserve Accounts are for the purchase of a Police Cruiser, Highway Truck, or Fire Truck or to fund the Revaluation, Sidewalk Improvements, or Town Buildings Expendable Trust Fund.
Warrant Articles – Warrant Articles are one-time special appropriations that require voter approval. If a Warrant Article is approved by voters, funds must be expended by December 31st.
- Operating Budget – the Operating Budget is what the Budget Advisory Committee and Board of Selectmen work to develop. This budget is the financial framework that the Town needs to run its normal operations.
Members of the 2012 Budget Committee:
- John Baybutt
- Melissa Clark
- Harvey Goodwin
- Richard Reed
- Deborah Whitney